Content marketing is creating, publishing, and distributing valuable, relevant content to a targeted audience online. This can be a blog post, online article, ebook, video, social media post, podcast, etc.
This short guide you are about to read sums everything up, and gets you up to a good start.
Content marketing 101
Content marketing works best when you narrow the topic you are talking about. The more precise the topic, the more useful your content can be. In the same way, The more narrowly you target the audience for your content marketing piece, the better you will be in delivering useful content.
Don’t worry about giving away too much, free information, fearing that you’d lose your prospect and the sale.
Giving prospects free content does not make them feel obligated to buy your product, but it does make them more willing to give you a little more of their time and attention. Robert Cialdini wrote a complete book about it, called: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
The more valuable your content is to prospects, the faster your content marketing plan will achieve its objective.
It’s exactly the same as food vendors giving away free samples. The better the free food tastes, the more likely the consumer is to buy it.
Content marketing succeeds when it gets prospects to take action or change their opinion, attitude, or beliefs about you and your product(s).
Always conclude your content marketing with “What’s Next,” where you tell readers what to do after reading that far and how to do it.
By making it a habit to publish new and relevant content on your digital marketing channels, on a regular base, you increase the likelihood of new customers finding out about your business, its services, and the added-value you bring to them.
Search engines love new content published on a regular base, and so do everyone else. Posting regularly makes prospects come back to your website as they know you frequently add fresh content.
This regular posting routine will eventually improve your search engine ranking. This will also increase the likelihood that customers will find your website early on.
The eMail List
Make it a rule: half (or more) of the emails sent to your mailing list should be useful content, useful for your recipients, not only you.
If you send too many sales pitches and not enough good content, your unsubscribe rate will spike.
Same will happen to the remaining subscribers who didn’t unsubscribe yet, they will just stop reading or even opening your emails.
First Mission Is To Educate
Content marketing’s first mission is to educate and inform, then support your sales efforts. You need to educate your potential customers, gain their trust and respect. Only after that you can make your product pitch – not before.
Content marketing is not just publishing information, it’s sharing experiences and knowledge. How tired are you from those articles titled: Top 10, 50, 100 things to do more things?
Once a type of content becomes viral, you’ll find thousands after thousands of similar content flooding all the corners of the internet.
What’s really hard to replicate is true experience. You can either be original, or just another copy.
We are drowning in online information at the moment. What we really need is someone to analyze those endless streams of data and turn it into something we can benefit from. We need problem solving posts, articles, information.
The AIDA Model
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. It when your content takes consumers through 4 stages.
Through a series of cognitive (thinking) and affective (feeling) stages, you grab their attention, build their interest, make them desire your product, and then show them what they can do to own it.
Call to Action – CTA
The Call To Action (CTA) tells the readers what action they should take and how.It’s usually that flashy icon that reads Buy Now or the Register Here in those excellent emailers worth sharing.
Many amazing content failed to increase sales because the CTA was not clear or not shown in a place easy for the reader to spot and react to / click it.
The Successful Content Marketing Campaign
All good marketing campaigns start with profiling your perfect prospect and target audience. Then, your profile their needs and desires. This is where marketing research is highly required.
Next is to fully understand your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What real benefits does your product / service offer, better than any competition.
Charts, facts, and figures make good proof, but they don’t motivate people.
–The Terry Dean, email marketing coach.
Hands down, mastering the art of content marketing requires mastering copywriting. For that I have compiled and published the Copywriting 101: how to write amazing content even with no previous experience that I recommend you to read.
Second, you need good SEO background. For that, I’ve written a short list of SEO Techniques that will help you get started and master the art of being noticed by internet search engines.
Content Marketing Examples
One of the good content marketing examples is the 100 Cheesesteak Marketing Stunt Success Story. The protagonist wanted to create content never seen before, so he made it up, and it worked!